The mother of a man who died on December 3, 2008, has filed suit against the Washington DC Fire & EMS (FEMS) alleging that the city and Dr. James J. Augustine, the department’s former medical director, are responsible for his death.
Edward Givens died approximately six hours after being told by DC paramedics that the symptoms he was experiencing were due to acid reflux. The suit alleges he was actually having a heart attack, and that the failure of the paramedics to properly diagnose, treat – and more importantly warn Givens that his symptoms could also be the sign of something more serious, was the proximate cause of his death.
The suit states that "The FEMS report of the incident indicates that it does not appear that an extensive discussion of risks and possible consequences of not seeking medical care and treatment took place,"
Allegedly the paramedics advised Mr. Givens "that he only needed to take Pepto Bismol."
The lawsuit seeks $17 million in damages, and follows on the heels of several high profile EMS related stories involving DC FEMS.